The Next Generation of Woodworkers

McNabb & Co. City Wheel

Last month, Jet and Powermatic sponsored an event in Nashville, Tenn., at which Powermatic showed its new PM1000 (we have one in the shop that we’re currently testing). Jet unveiled a new band saw (I wrote about it in this blog) and a few other tools such as a couple of smaller lathes and a pair of grinders designed more for woodworkers.

The event, excluding dinner at a downtown eatery, was held at Fort Houston. Within the city of Nashville, Fort Houston is a 10,000-square-foot facility where, for a small membership fee, you gain access to tools and information, and to what many members value the most – camaraderie. The facility has a full-scale shop for woodworking (sponsored by Jet and Powermatic), a print shop, bike shop and photography setup.

Ft. HoustonWhat makes Fort Houston special is the ability it affords to up-and-coming woodworkers (and others) to gain access to tools of trade without a huge outlay of cash. As a result, the members to which we were introduced are of a younger age group. And interestingly enough, that plays right into Jet’s wheelhouse.

Jet’s newest advertising campaign is directed toward a younger audience. The music used in its video ads is more edgy (no Sinatra, for sure). Woodworkers in the videos and in print ads are younger, too. In fact, those who appear in the ads are members at Fort Houston. (That’s a win-win relationship – members get tools to use and the company has a ready supply of talent for its endeavors.)

McNabb 2The new direction is paying benefits in more ways than one. The company has already discovered a few talented woodworkers. One of those discoveries – James McNabb – is responsible for the project shown in the opening photo. McNabb, of McNabb & Co., uses a Jet band saw to cut, shape and form his city buildings, which make up a good portion (but not all) of his work. Jet isn’t alone in its admiration of McNabb. Take some time to visit his site (mcnabbstudio.com) and blog (mcnabbstudio.wordpress.com). You’ll see magazine articles written about him and find examples of his work. I was in awe. It’s very impressive. Be sure to watch the video on the Making of “City Wheel,” click here.

— Glen D. Huey

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